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No, this isn’t some 50 Shades of Ohmygod Can We Talk About How This Series Is Only “Romantic” Because It’s Fiction and How Creepy Would It Be If A Guy Did That To You In Real Life pun. It’s writing advice.

I love our little corner of the internet. It’s one of my favorite places to be, and I hope it’s one of yours. But just like all corners, it can be either a comfortable refuge or a hiding place. When was the last time you stretched your wings and tried something new?

We’ve got some opportunities to do just that coming next week- did you know it’s yeah write’s 4th birthday?- when we make some announcements over here, so stay tuned.

But in the meantime, think about what you’re writing, and how much. You probably have a fantastic 500-600 word essay nailed down right now, but how’s your 1,000 word writing? What about 100-200 words?

Think about the kinds of feedback you get when you submit to different places: here, you get your love letter. Have you tried submitting to a magazine, aggregation, or online publication like The Toast? Sure, your odds of getting into something like that might seem astronomical, but you never know, and the feedback you get is always valuable. What does a rejection from XOJane look like as opposed to a rejection from yeah write? It’s all a chance to learn about your writing.

And just in case you think I have no idea what I’m talking about, I got a mix of feedback from the NYC Midnight first round – some of it was wonderful and some of it pissed me off in that way that people telling you that they didn’t understand something you put effort into explaining pisses you off – and can’t wait for my second round feedback! Yeah write is wonderful not just in its own right, but because the feedback you get makes you more prepared to submit to ambitious places and do well in competitions.

But anyway, you’re not here to hear about other sites, you want the results from our site, right? Me too. So, just like every Friday, I’m going to give you the results on all three of our grids – nonfiction, fiction|poetry, and microfiction – right here!

But it’s not all about the popular vote, folks. We also have our editorial staff picks to hand out. Every week our editors comb through your submissions looking for their favorites. Picks are based on writing quality, how successful the author is in conveying information, and just plain style. If you got a staff pick this week, grab your badge from the sidebar and wear it with pride! Read your feedback carefully- this is one of the few chances we get to tell you what you’re doing right once you’re getting on the grids consistently. And if you didn’t get a staff pick this week, take the time to re-read the posts that did, keeping the editor’s blurb in mind. Do you think the post accomplishes what we said? Why or why not? Reading good writing critically is one of the best ways to improve your own work.

Once you’re done reading through the staff picks (and congratulating the winners in the comments), keep scrolling down to check out who won the popular vote on all three grids.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Yeah write #207 weekly writing challenge staff picks: nonfiction

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not pictured: 16 years and change by lisa

and

chair day by anachips

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I couldn’t do it. I just could not pick one this week. So my editor’s pick is a twofer: Lisa and Ana’s pieces mirror each other in a way that I couldn’t resist showing off; each features an object that is so much more than its construction.

 

Lisa’s piece takes us through 16 years in a house, in a life. A baby, marriages, loss, a career shift, and more are all anchored by that house with a window and a history of trees. We learn a lot about Lisa through that window and we feel the weight of her essay. You have to read it more than once- not just because it’s so good, but because she masterfully takes so much information and condenses it without losing the heartbreaking and hopeful enormity of it.

 

Conversely, Ana’s piece takes a small commonplace thing, her chair, and builds a lyrical essay around it. Everyone sits (and I assume most of us sit in chairs) but who among us sees our chair like Ana sees hers? Her chair becomes a force, or, as she says, a commitment. She takes us through her writing as a physical process, all of it supported by this one foundation, and then uses that same foundation as a subject to craft something utterly beautiful. She guides us gently to see something more in what we so often overlook.  She takes the ordinary and she makes it amazing and in doing so, we learn, this is about so much more than a chair.
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Yeah write #207 weekly writing challenge staff picks: fiction|poetry

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riots by shannon

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Shannon’s first stab at historical fiction did not leave my mind for days. The boundary between normal and extraordinary seems to dissolve in her story, pairing seemingly mundane details with the unsettling hints that lead up to a large-scale event. Tension mounts through this exchange, building to a heart-twisting moment when the reader understands the narrator’s maturity in the face of her youth; maturity that comes much too young. I could go on about the rhythmic ease of the dialogue and the deftness with which she creates the characters in this tableau, but the finishing touch is is the way she frames her story. However large the L.A. riots were, she never takes us from the narrator’s small world at home, where, though she seems safe, we know she is not–especially when the police come to visit.
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Yeah write #207 weekly writing challenge staff picks: microstories

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my goal by jan

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Jan’s microstory is like a lovely, lyrical story problem. What I love is that she takes an absolutely mundane question – what is six times nine? – and answers it in mathematical metaphors, all the while retaining her own unique, unmistakeable voice. However you tally it, it all adds up to a beautiful answer to the ultimate question.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Congratulations to this week’s winners! If you earned the highest number of votes in either challenge, you are this week’s crowd favorite. If you came in first, second or third, you get “top three” honors. Grab your badge from our sidebar!

Looking for your badge? The fiction|poetry, nonfiction and microstories challenges all have the same winner, staff pick, and top three badges. It doesn’t clutter up our sidebar, and they’ll still look pretty on yours!

Everybody: before you go, please take some time to leave your favorites a little love in the comments.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Weekend moonshine grid opens today at 6 p.m. eastern time

It may not be Callahan’s Place but it’s a sweet little bar out on Route Whateveritis and it’s got the best weekend bartender in the universe: Natalie! Stop by when she opens the doors at 6pm today and stay all weekend, we won’t kick you out unless you’re soliciting. Need a place to try out that 1,000 word essay I just told you to write? Here’s a great one![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

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